NeuroCog Trials, Inc. announces the initiation of the first clinical trial to utilize the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). The MCCB, a collection of 10 neuropsychological tests, reflects the culmination of
NIMH’s MATRICS initiative, which is devoted to overcoming obstacles to drug development for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. NeuroCog Trials will be providing the rater training, certification, and data review expertise for the trial, helping to ensure that the data reflect the best possible test of a treatment effect.

Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is a pervasive unmet medical need. Recognizing this need, FDA, NIMH, and members of the academic community set out to establish a gold standard cognitive assessment, one that would include robust test-retest reliability, small practice effects, correlations with measures of functional capacity, practicality and tolerability. Richard Keefe, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of NeuroCog Trials, and a member of the MATRICS Neurocognition Committee, said, “After months of investigation and debate, I am pleased to see the MCCB enter clinical trials. I believe that the MCCB will become the predominant neurocognitive assessment battery in the clinical trials of schizophrenia, as well as other disorders of cognition.”

The complexity of the MCCB requires experienced and well-trained raters who respond appropriately and predictably to the universe of possible incorrect, incomplete and idiosyncratic answers that patients may produce during administration of any neuropsychological battery, including the MCCB. “In working with our sponsors, we have come to understand the training and data review services that are required to help both raters and patients succeed in providing high quality data on cognitive functioning”, added Dr. Keefe.

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